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Sudden resignation of head of USA’s National Nuclear Security Administration

Head of nuclear weapons agency unexpectedly resigns, Yahoo News, Aafron Mehta,Deense News•November 7, 2020  WASHINGTON Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, has resigned her position effectively immediately, Defense News has learned.

Gordon-Hagerty, who became the first woman to lead the NNSA in February 2018, sent her letter of resignation to the White House Friday, according to a pair of senior NNSA officials, speaking to Defense News on background.

The NNSA is a semi-autonomous office located within the Department of Energy. While the Defense Department manages the delivery systems of the nuclear force — ships, planes and missiles — NNSA has oversight over the development, maintenance and disposal of nuclear warheads. While the agency falls under the purview of DoE, much of its budget is set by the Nuclear Weapons Council, which is largely controlled by Defense Department officials.

Per the sources, the resignation was driven by almost a year of clashes between Gordon-Hagerty’s office and Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. That fight first seeped into public earlier this year, when Brouillette sought to cut NNSA’s budget request. Defense officials, backed by supporters from Congress, went to the White House and forced the issue in NNSA’s favor.

Tensions never truly receded and continued to play out in Congress during the fiscal 2021 budget season. Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., led pro-defense lawmakers in an effort to give the Pentagon more official control over NNSA; House lawmakers created several pieces of legislation that would give the Energy department more control.

The issue seemed to come to a head when the Department of Energy Organization and Management Improvement Act, passed by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Sept. 9, changed language that made the NNSA a quasi-independent entity, in essence folding the agency more fully under DOE’s control. The move was seen by NNSA officials as an attempt by Brouillette to outright destroy the agency……….

November 7, 2020 - Posted by | safety, USA, weapons and war

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